Juno is shitty and beyond overrated

Really. It is. Why are so many people so far up its arse?

Apparently these are the only reviewers with any sort of sense.

Sure, it had funny parts but it really does try too hard. Read the reviews above, they sum up what I think.

Also, while I’m on it, I Am Legend was actually decent until the fucking woman and kid turned up, even if it did drift a mile from the book of the same name (which I enjoyed, by the way).

Lastly, Starship Troopers (the book) was interesting, if somewhat hollow. Bugger the movie.

Yes, I do read!

Ch-ch-ch-changes.

This post was inspired by palmy’s return.

I’ll give a quick summary again, as it’s been nearly 2 months (what a surprise).

Emily and I broke up in July. It was a bit messy but now it’s done. She went to Germany with her dad and I went to Berlin the week before on my own. I had a great time there, actually. I met some guys that offered me jobs and was close to accepting them until Hugo offered me a pay rise and more stuff to do here.

Sure, I’d probably make more money in Berlin doing stuff but I still love my Tallinn. I was considering even getting a proper job here for some firm like HP or Skype or something. Hostel life is still more appealing at the moment though.

Anyway, yeah. Berlin was fantastic. One of my new favourite cities. I’m definitely heading back there some time… Maybe March next year for a month or two. It’s possible to rent apartments in the city for 115 euro/month. Tempting.

We had about 14 staff in the hostel in July. More than half left. We should be getting a few more soon, hopefully. It’s been fairly hectic on the farewell party scene of late, but fun.

I went to a folk music festival in Viljandi, a town in southern Estonia. The population of the place doubles for the four days of the festival, basically. It was really good fun. I camped out in the festival grounds in a shitty little tent and it only slightly flooded, so I was satisfied. The range of music was actually quite broad, and some other guys organised after-parties in a concert hall nearby each night. I really want to go again next year.

Oh, yeah, I finally went to Tartu, as well. Twice now. The first was for another one day festival that some of us hitchhiked to, then didn’t bother going into the place. We sat outside in a playground for most of the day instead. That was probably more fun, in the end. The second time was for a university party which was fairly tame… Partly because it wasn’t very big and partly because almost everyone spoke Estonian. Which is fair enough…

Speaking of speaking Estonian, I’m learning! Finally. It took me 10 months or so but I can now count and say numbers and also the days of the week. Basics, but basics I never actually had to use before. I’m getting a few more sentences and phrases ingrained as well. It’s fun. Too bad it’s almost impossible to replicate the vowel sounds, especially with an Australian accent. Ah well.

The hostel actually has a little bar now in the basement, too. Don’t tell anyone though. It’s a secret. We’re also owners of what used to be the second hand store and baby shop underneath now, so we can knock out some walls and connect the whole hostel together. We’ll move reception and the bar into there, too. I can’t wait, because it’s going to rock.

Last night I went to some multi-band concert called Polymer. There were about 10 bands playing throughout the night but I didn’t stay for them all. The venue was basically an abandoned factory out in the suburbs which is actually meant to be condemned. There were artworks and paintings and sculptures all over the place on display and all these funky little rooms. Reminded me so much of Tacheles in Berlin. Ahh, happy times.

Alright, enough crap for now. I’ve kind of stopped uploading photos onto my website because I use Facebook more and it’s faster than this host but perhaps I’ll slap up a few selections later on.

-Estonia; +(Finland, Latvia, Greece, Bulgaria)

Hi again.

It’s been too long, once again. Let me fill you in:

  • Emily and I are back together and things are going well.
  • I left the Viru hostel a few weeks ago to do some travelling
  • Em and I spent some time in Finland with Heli and her family
  • Now we’re backpacking
  • Photos (somewhat unordered) can be found here.

Savonlinna was fun, met some of Heli’s uni friends and I made a shitty little clay turtle whose leg fell off. :(

Em and I both have house keys to the Salomaa’s now, so we’re gonna steal some shit when they’re on holiday. Suvi’s coming to the hostel to work over summer (haha). Em and I are going to be back there in mid-June for a month until we head off for the UK, or something.

We took a flight from Tampere to Riga and spent a few days there in the Old Town Hostel. It was fun catching up with our Latvian hostel cousins and there was even a big free cocktail party one of the nights, so I got rat-arsed. It was rather windy but not too chilly.

One night we checked cheap flights to the south-eastern end of Europe. We could have both flown to Istanbul for about $160 each and nearly did, except that the flight was taking off in 4 hours and we had no way of getting to the airport in time. Instead we booked mildly more expensive tickets to Athens that departed in a few days time.

To kill some time before we headed to Greece, we took a bus to Liepaja, on the Baltic coast. It was a slight nightmare, as we’d heard that apparently there was an old Soviet naval prison that had been converted into a hostel. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Unfortunately we had no map and managed to find tourist destination on only a whim and 40 minutes of walking.

After negotiating the bus system and which routes to take, we cheekily ran off without paying at what we 50/50 thought was our stop. It wasn’t, really. We did take some nice photos on the walk and nearly got mugged by young children on bicycles, so it was sort of worthwhile.

The prison hostel had no English speaking staff, the season had only just begun so they hadn’t reopened all their facilities, there was a primary school excursion occurring at the same time, we had to wait 30 minutes for an English speaker to tell us to come back at 9pm (it was 5:30), we got fined on the bus the second time for not having tickets, all the shops and cafes in town were closed, we had no dinner and slept in a freezing cold prison room with broken beds after a brisk 40 minute tour. Then we had to pay and get back to Riga.

Fortunately, I took a cool photo of Emily in a gas mask and it made it all seem worth the effort.

The flight to Athens was funny, mainly because the Latvian girl sitting next to Em had never flown before, nor seen mountains. She experienced both sensations by the time we touched down.

This southern end of Europe is already ridiculously hot. Being acclimatised to the Baltics certainly doesn’t help, but it’s still fucking sweaty here.

Again we had no accommodation booked in Athens and it took us 3 visits to different hostels and a metro trip across town until we found some. They were half the price of the original place we looked into, so it wasn’t so bad.

Athens is kind of a disappointment. There’s not a whole lot to see or do except the Acropolis and the Agora and we paid for neither. The country itself is expensive to boot and we still failed to find a respectable kebab house. After two and a half days of dicking around (and no souvlaki or olive bread), we took a train to Thessaloniki. We’re going back when we have money and we’re old to visit the Islands.

Thessaloniki was nice. We didn’t stay overnight but we did stay from 8am until midnight. In a park, mainly. We spoke to some funny old Greek fellow who was more interested in chatting with us about the town and whatnot than he was in helping his colleagues in fixing some public sprinklers. Who can blame him, really?

We took a night bus to Sofia, Bulgaria which departed 40 minutes late from Thessaloniki and arrived 30 minutes early in Sofia. Again without a map, we hiked in the 4:00am darkness trying to decipher Cyrillic street names until we found our beds. Well, more like our couches until our beds were ready a few hours later.

The Sofia hostel was really nice. Very cozy and kind staff. We even got some free breakfast. Not that we really needed it, most things in Bulgaria are so ridiculously cheap it’s almost embarrassing. We walked around in the morning, getting sunburnt and exploring the streets, seeing the old buildings and the fruit markets and ate two monster gelato ice creams for about $2 Australian each. We were pleased.

One of the days we took a trip up to the Rila Monastery, a beautiful little place up in the mountains, about 2 hours drive from Sofia. We grouped up with another Aussie couple and had lunch with them and more gelato during the evening.

After a lazy morning of chatting with the hostel owner about his future development plans, we took a bus up to Plovdiv, a cute little town in central Bulgaria. The hostel we stayed in was a very cute converted house that even had its own kitten. Needless to say, I didn’t really want to leave and if they’d had air conditioning I probably wouldn’t have.

On our second day there we went exploring with another Aussie guy we’d met named Jim. We checked out the ruins on top of the hill in the old town and on our way to the Roman theatre got side tracked by a massive, abandoned, stripped-out building on the edge of the old town that had fantastic views over one half of the city.

We tiptoed through the rubble and graffiti-stained concrete, half expecting a gang or a syringe-wielding junkie to jump out at us. As it turns out, a policeman called us out from the top instead, with poor Emily running down after us to let us know we’d been caught. The cop was pretty nice, he just wanted to check we weren’t using heroin or killing someone, then let us go. It was more interesting than the theatre.

In what already seemed like a random afternoon, we ended up speaking to an old Bulgarian who’d lived in the USA for 30 years before returning home to Plovdiv, then got asked to present a song for a Bulgarian music television station, then ended up sitting with the TV crew for an hour in the shade while they told us about where they were from and what they thought of life in general. They gave us free t-shirts.

Apparently, if we’re on TV at all, it’ll be on Thursday or Friday. Stay tuned.

After a tearful farewell, we left Zorro the kitten asleep on the couch and took another bus to Veliko Tarnovo. No photos yet but there’s some good ones to come. It’s a cool student town in an ancient location: apparently there’s evidence of people living here from 5000 years ago, if not more. The most important fact to know about this region, though, is that we’re very close to where Kotooshu was born. Apparently sumo wrestling is big in Bulgaria.

We’re likely to be headed toward Varna either today or tomorrow, so we can check out the Black Sea. Odds are we’ll then head up to Romania as now that they’re part of the EU we don’t need visas (yes!). A Romanian friend of mine that I met in Sofia said she can arrange a place for us to stay in Bucharest if we visit, so we might just do that.

Until next time.

Something I can never have

I just found out I missed Nine Inch Nails playing in Helsinki by ONE FUCKING NIGHT.

JESUS.

Talk about adding to a shitty week.

On a related note, the as-of-yet-unreleased album, Year Zero, is awesome. As is the viral marketing campaign (although Trent doesn’t think of it that way, more of an alternate reality game) that goes along with it.

Let’s all bop along to Capital G. Just not at the FUCKING GIG IN HELSINKI, AOEWHUFAE.

I guess I at least got to see them in 2005, although it was sitting down. :(

Life goes on

Then there were three. Three staff that is, although technically Valerie is back today with her friend. I still don’t know how long she’s staying. Meh. Whatever. So yeah, Hector left earlier this morning. Steffi left yesterday afternoon. Bring back Hans, I say.

I’m going to start looking for work in the UK again soon, I think. I’m not really sure how far ahead of time I need to start applying for jobs to secure one and have it lined up for when we arrive. I’d definitely like to have a guaranteed income from day 1 though even if it’s a shitty job or shitty pay, simply for peace of mind.

Makes me wonder if I need to or if it’s worth bothering with all these quickstart type things or just doing it in person when I get there or even doing it another way online. God knows. I’ll work something out.

Livijus wants me to create a website advertising his apartments for him. It should be easy enough, provided I can get some good photos of the place. Working out the best web host for what he wants and getting the domain set up will be more effort than making the page, I think.

I’m going to start being a little bit more specific with the categories that I assign to my posts from now on. I suppose a few different tags can’t hurt and it probably makes flicking through things a little bit more interesting. Maybe.

:O

Well, I just woke up.

I haven’t slept in this late for a long time. I woke up at 3pm and that’s the time I’m meant to leave for work. Whoops.

I think I’ll be a little late in today.

The report for the project has been done and should have been submitted today. We had our client demonstration yesterday as well and it seemed to go smoothly. They’re very keen on us doing well and seem to genuinely want what we’re building. It’s a little creepy but it’s still encouraging. It’s fabuluous that now I don’t really have to care all that much about the rest of the course for the semester. Of course, I’ll have to know my stuff for the oral exam but that won’t be too challenging. The same goes for our final presentation. I just want to finish it. Whee.

Last night was the Winesoc Red & White Ball/Formal/Dinner. I got to don my new tux. I think I looked somewhat dapper in the good old traditional black tie style. I have some shitty photos that I took with my shitty camera in to a shitty mirror after I got dressed so I’ll upload them later. That is, as long as I don’t look shitty.

Yes, the dinner last night was great. We’d booked out a Greek restaurant so there was the odd bit of plate smashing alongside a tonne of food and wine. I managed to convince Benecke and Byrne (who needs first names when you could have surnames like that?) to come along with me. I think they had a good time even though they disappeared without saying goodbye (which they did according to Byrne). I even saw JJ, Bal and Chunky there. Guess the nicknames out of that lot.

So we danced and drank and ate and mostly didn’t have to feign merriment until we got kicked out. I wasn’t particularly drunk at the end of the event as I’d spent quite some time standing around outside talking to people and looking after sad drunks so that by the time I returned indoors the bar had been closed. Disappointing. I still managed to score some baklava for the trouble, so it was worth it.

Afterwards a few of us ended up wandering down towards Oxford street. I think we went to The Columbian until they kicked us out and then those of us who were left were unable to get in to some other predominantly queer club because the girls were wearing “open toed shoes”. That’s a new one. It was probably for the best as it meant we could sit in some other pub and get cheaper drinks and all be accosted at once by a rather repulsive drunk lesbian/bisexual who asked us all if we were “going to drink or just sit there looking pretty all night”.

To cap off the night, I scored a cold falafel and managed to share a taxi back to Newtown. I think my clothes survived any real damage, too.

All in all a good night.

Arghhhhh.

This is killing me. I probably shouldn’t be writing this in a public entry but I’m going insane not being able to talk to Lou. She can probably see this anyway. Hi there.

Some stuff she’s said has made me confused and I’m not sure if it’s just because if I’m too stubborn or it just wont sink in or what. I need to talk but she wont yet.

It’s seriously fucking me up. I don’t want to be harassing her though. Arghhhhhh.

I’m in one of those shitty limbo states at the moment and as usual have no control over it whatsoever.

Pics.

Finally pulled all the pics off my shitty old camera’s memory card. See the cut. There’s an awesome one of my cat, if that helps you decide to bother looking.

Just changed my shifts around at work, so that I get the penalty rates counting over my whole shift. 17% pay increase baby. \o/

Well, that’s how it’s meant to work.

Tried out iTunes because I was prepared to pay to download Gary Numan’s Pleasure Principle album. Turns out that’s practically the only Gary Numan album that they don’t have. Soulseek is way too slow unless you want mainstream popular shit, so it looks like I’m up shit/Amazon/record store creek.

Some of those other legal MP3 download sites are dodgy. I especially love the ones that request your email first, then on the next page after you’ve submitted it your credit card number, etc. Gotta love having Hotmail for trying shit like that out. At least until the second step.

Still, they offered ~ US$0.25/song as opposed to iTunes’ US$0.99/song. Bigger library too. Meh.
Here’s my favourite:

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

That’s from home though, when I lived there. I miss him. :'(

Scott’s been asleep all night, until I did this:

He’s gonna get me back for that, I can feel it. Actually he looks a bit like Chris Taylor from The Chaser and triple j in that one.

Don’t you think?

Especially this one:

Here’s another unflattering one of me I think, with young Tomy. Hope his mum doesn’t see this or we’ll never be allowed to kidnap him again for an afternoon. Man my arms look like noodles now. :O I should start trying to pretend I do weights somewhat regularly again. Or something.

hehe.

Great.

Well this weekend has been a cliche rollercoaster ride of emotions. Right now I’m experiencing a shitty one.

More on this later.

P.S. Saggy boobs in some 70s movie on VHS dad is converting to DVD.

Back again.

Got it finished. It’s a bit shoddy but I really couldn’t care less. I printed out our logo on the colour printer though in a desperate bid to scrape up a few more marks for “novelty”.

My download of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 just finished at the same time. How fortunate. What’s unfortunate, however, is that I have to get up in 6 hours so that I can make it to my tutorial tomorrow and get the rest of my group to sign the cover page of the assignment. That reminds me, I have to submit a .txt version of our plan. Just did it then. Wow.

Right, golf time.

Plug.

Earrings by Lou! Yes, a shameless plug but I figured it couldn’t hurt.

Feathers, wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Uni was ok. Got to change her timetable so she’d be in my tute. :D I would have preferred to be in hers but all the other combos were full. :(

Turns out the 3 hour lecture is actually only meant to be 2 hours. \o/

I bought a 3-subject binder today. I don’t know why I never thought to do that earlier. So much nicer than carrying around 3 different exercise books – especially when I don’t write any notes anyway. It’s a nice red colour too: always a plus.

I’m still shitty at the last 3 days of my timetable… 3 hours over 3 days. In the mornings… Before I go to work… :'(

Meh.

Played an 8v8 CoD match tonight. We lost 13-7. I’m surprised it was that close considering we pubbed it up in the most idiotic ways, including taking 2 attacking rounds with carbine rushes… hehe

Dad’s still DVD mad. The house is flooding from them. should be receiving some of his eBay wins soon, as well, for further shipping. :o Maybe I should tell her. Hmm.

Salesi has decided to sit on the desk and most of my mouse pad again, but not face me. Stupid cat. :S

See?